Notes on the data: Income support

People receiving an unemployment benefit for less than 6 months and 6 months or more, June 2017

Policy context: Long-term jobless people are much more likely than employed people or short term unemployed people to have low education and skill levels, a chronic illness or disability, to live in a region of high unemployment, and to have an unstable employment history [1]. Increasing casualisation of the work force and decreasing numbers of full time jobs for low skilled workers have contributed to the difficulties of many who have been unemployed for longer than 6 months (182 days).

Long-term unemployment can have negative effects on health and wellbeing, especially on the emotional and mental health of those who are unemployed and their families [2,3].


  1. Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS). Measuring long term unemployment in Australia. (ACOSS Information Paper 379). Strawberry Hills, NSW: ACOSS; 2005
  2. Dollard MF, Winefield AH. Mental health: overemployment, underemployment, unemployment and healthy jobs. Aust e-J Adv Mental Hlth. 2002;1(3).
  3. Gray M, Taylor M, Edwards B. Unemployment and the wellbeing of children aged 5-10 years. Aust. J Labour Econ. 2011;14(2):153-72.

Notes: People receiving an ‘unemployment benefit' - which includes the Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance (other)1 paid by Department of Human Services - for more than 182 days (approximately 6 months) are shown as proportion of the eligible population (of persons aged 16 to 64 years).

Data cells with less than 5 counts were removed (confidentialised).

1 Youth Allowance (other) is largely comprised of unemployed people aged 16 to 21 looking for full-time work or undertaking approved activities, such as part-time study or training. It excludes Youth Allowance customers who are full-time students or undertaking an apprenticeship/ traineeship.

Geography: Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintiles and Remoteness Areas

Numerator: People in receipt of a Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance (other) from the Department of Human Services for less than 183 days and more than 183 days (approximately 6 months)

Denominator: People aged 16 to 64 years

Detail of analysis: Per cent

Source: Compiled by PHIDU based on data from the Department of Social Services, June 2017; and ABS Estimated Resident Population, 30 June 2017.

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